Getting to know your users

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Discover how to find out what your users, or potential users, think of your apps.

Whatever app you choose to create, it will live or die by the users who download and use it. Knowing your users is therefore critical ─ not only when designing your apps features and user interface, but also to the many other activities that go into making an app successful, such as promotion, business models, and community.

Your first app

If you follow the advice in this section — particularly around community creation — once you have one or two application in Marketplace it will become easier to gain an understanding of your users through the Marketplace stats, user feedback, and from the community you build.

However, for your first app this will be a challenge — you won’t have any feedback, no stats, and no community. Well that’s not strictly true; you have family, friends, work colleagues, social network contacts and even the packer at the local supermarket or a neighbour you only ever meet in the bus queue on a Monday morning. And it doesn’t end there, you can get inventive — take a stall at the local fair or farmers market and offer free lemonade to anyone who will try your app.

Many of these people may never download your app, but they are all potential customers and can provide you with insights into your apps and business model. And if only 1 in 5 or 1 in 10 get what you are building that’s good when your potential market is hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of users.

Ways to get to know you users

Use every opportunity to understand who your users are, as individuals or as a group:

  • Review the stats provided by Marketplace to find out where in the world your users live.
  • Review the feedback provided to your existing apps, particularly looking for trends — the app was too expensive, had too few features, was too hard to use, etc.
  • Review and/or reach out to members of your user’s community directly or through polls.
  • Run alpha or beta tests.